To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

710 Freeway fighters not good neighbors in SGV: Letters


Posted: 04/29/14

 Your Question of the Week editorial involved the dispute between the city of Irwindale and David Tran’s Huy Fong Food Company and its Sriracha hot sauce.

The question was, “Would Sriracha be your good neighbor?” The article went on to say that “we want the beauty parts of this world, but we’d like to skip the hassle parts we have to pass through on the way.” “They want the water, but they’d just as soon do without the rain,” which was a quote from American poet Ed Dorn, can go on to describe another bad neighbor relationship. That neighbor is the city of South Pasadena. For decades, South Pas has been fighting transportation progress that is sorely needed throughout the greater Los Angeles region, in the form of the Long Beach Freeway extension from Alhambra to Pasadena. Each time the more than a dozen Southern California freeways were built, sacrifices were made by cities and citizens alike but always for the greater good of all involved. I have heard some refer to this fight as David against Goliath, but in this case Goliath is the good guys. Someone needs to pick up the torch in our fight against this ongoing battle and impose sanctions against South Pasadena. Let’s bring our collective efforts to bear against this tiny minority of preventers of progress.

— Mike Vercillo, Arcadia

In response to the above letter:

 Not just South Pasadenans who oppose the 710: Letters


Posted: 04/30/14

 Old Pasadenans against extension of the 710

As a 20-year resident of Pasadena I am totally against the extension of the 710. It will destroy Old Pasadena for eight to 10 years while the tunnel is built and the increased traffic will cause the area traffic to come to a standstill. The current slowdown at the 210-134 transition will look like a dream after the added flow onto the 210 causes miles of backup in both directions.

Every promised improvement in traffic from freeway extensions has resulted in the traffic backups instead. Remember the promises we were given when the 210 was being extended eastward? Notice the daily traffic jams experienced by those using the 210 now. We have a slowdown, not improved speeds.

Now we are being threatened with a 5-mile tunnel project that will result in years of construction detours and eyesores. That will be followed by a massive increase in traffic density. South Pasadena residents are not alone in opposing this project.

— ­Anne Marie Dazé Floyd, Pasadena

Money for and pollution from 710 would be endless

This 710 tunnel is a very bad idea, taking pollution to a neighborhood that doesn’t want it! The money is endless. It seems like a no-brainer. Cut your losses and just give up so we can go on with our lives that are hard enough without further complications and bad air. We don’t want the 710 and we don’t want the tunnel.

 — Rita Salazar-Ashford, Pasadena

710 is the wrong solution to the right problem

The problem with the 710 tunnel is that it is the wrong solution to the right problem. We didn’t need to spend $37 million on an EIR to know that our freeways are congested. The problems on our freeways include the 5, 10, 210, 2, 710, 405, 605, 101, 405 and the 60. Did I leave out anything?
Look at the data from the EIR released to date. So far the only benefit on any freeway is on the I-5 through the downtown area. The 710 tunnel would divert 25,000 vehicles per day from that freeway. That is the upside. The downside is that it helps none of the other freeways or the surface streets in the San Gabriel Valley. There are just too many vehicles on the freeways and arterials during peak hours.

The EIR has come up with some ideas, but even these are not enough for a solution to the mess we are in. Did we mention the cost? Six to 10 billion dollars is too much to spend for the small benefit achieved on the I-5.

The other downside is the pollution and disease the tunnel will bring to Pasadena and the surrounding areas (including Arcadia, home of a recent pro-tunnel letter writer).

South Pasadena is not the only one skeptical of the tunnel. The Five Cities Alliance includes Pasadena, Sierra Madre, La Canada Flintridge and Glendale. The Sierra Club is opposed and there are many other citizen groups against this white elephant.

— Bill Sherman, South Pasadena

Toll lanes are just a money grab by the bureaucrats

 Should it be any surprise that the gluttonous bureaucrats in Sacramento are making another money grab?

The “trial” express toll lanes on the L.A. freeways are just too visible a target for these ravenous “public servants” to resist. Hold onto your wallets, Angelenos, the politicians are on the prowl again!

— Roland Taylor, Covina

The political heat

Charles Krauthammer says political donors need to keep their names secret. As Harry Truman said, “If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.”

— Ray Sherman, Duarte

What Does Southern California Need From the 710 Freeway?


Los Angeles
A Zócalo/Metro Event
Moderated by Conan Nolan, General Assignment Reporter, NBC4
 The 710 is one of the most important freeways in Southern California. It’s also shorter than originally planned: For nearly 50 years, legal and environmental challenges have stalled the freeway in Alhambra, 4.5 miles short of its intended destination, Pasadena. Over the decades, discussions about extending the freeway have cast its future as a local issue. But the 710 causes traffic, produces pollution, and affects commerce across Los Angeles and even beyond. How broad are these impacts, and what role might the stalled extension play in them? What would the five options now being debated for dealing with the Alhambra-to-Pasadena gap–implementing new surface traffic technology and strategies, new rapid bus transit, light rail transit, a freeway tunnel, or building nothing at all–mean for our region? UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies director Brian Taylor, Clean Tech Advocates senior advisor and former California Environment Secretary Linda S. Adams, L.A. Chamber of Commerce president Gary Toebben, and Southern California Association of Governments executive director Hasan Ikhrata visit Zócalo to discuss what these proposals mean for all of us.
Museum of Contemporary Art
250 S. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA
Parking $9 at the Walt Disney Concert Hall garage. Enter from Second St., just west of Grand Ave.

Just a Reminder, There’s a Reason They Haven’t Begun Digging the 710 Tunnel


By Damien Newton, May 6, 2014

Whether or not you’re planning to pay $9 to hear the Metro sponsored “public forum” on how important it is to improve the I-710 Freeway tonight, it’s important to remember one thing: there’s a reason that they haven’t purchased the shovels for the Big Dig. The proposed tunneling project is opposed by many Southern California communities and advocacy groups, both near and far.

There are currently two different projects on the books for the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles that could change the nature of surrounding communities and transportation plans in just a 20-mile corridor along the I-710. The first, down in Long Beach, would add four lanes of traffic to the existing ten lanes of the I-710 between Long Beach and East Los Angeles.

The other, the one that seems to be the focus of tonight’s event, would likely create a tunnel to connect the I-710 from its current terminus to the rest of the L.A. freeway network north of Pasadena.
Over a decade ago, Friends of the Earth, a nation-wide environmental group, declared that connecting the I-710 to Pasadena was “one of the dumbest highway projects in the country.” Adding a tunneling option to the study hasn’t done much to soften the blow. A video (above) and article produced by Sustainable Cities notes that if the highway is expanded, it would literally quadruple the amount of traffic in an already polluted corridor.

Of course, it’s possible that tonight’s discussion will take a different turn. The panel appears to be balanced with UCLA Professor Brian Taylor and Linda Adams representing progressive transportation thinkers, and Southern California Association of Governments CEO Hasan Ikharata and Chamber of Commerce President Gary Toebben likely pushing the need to “finish the gap.”

A lot will depend on how NBC’s Conan Nolan moderates the discussion. On his weekly talk show, a sort of Meet the Press for local politics, Nolan hasn’t demonstrated much knowledge or interest in transportation issues. But, he has shown a strong interest in the opinions of members of the Chamber of Commerce.

In other 710 related news, officials have pushed back the release date of the EIR which analyzes the five remaining alternatives for the unfunded mega-project. If the EIR had been released on time, its release and tonight’s discussion would have occurred very near each other, lending further credence that tonight’s event is more a 710 widening rally than a real discussion.

A secondary point in the article is that Caltrans is backing away from a request to lengthen the public comment period for the project from the maximum (120 days) in favor of something close to the minimum (45 days). Their reasoning is that they want to be fair to the people who want the project built as fast as possible.

The debate over the routing of the I-710 has been going on for 65 years since 1959.